New Music Friday: 25 releases to hear now
Plus Lorde, Arcade Fire, Bleachers, and more.
Every Friday, artists drop anticipated albums, surprise singles, and hyped collaborations. As part of New Music Friday, EW's music team chooses some of the essential new tunes. From Foo Fighters' raucous return to Fifth Harmony's first post-Camila single, here are the week's most noteworthy releases.
Foo Fighters, "Run"
The latest single from Dave Grohl & Co. is unadulterated alt-rock radio goodness, fusing the sweeping arpeggios of 2007's "The Pretender" with the breakneck thrash of 2011's "Rope." The Foos might've dressed up as old folks for the song's music video, but that's only because on record they sound as youthfully vital as ever. —Eric Renner Brown
Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane, "Down"
The first Fifth Harmony single since Camila Cabello's 2016 departure features a bouncing beat, polished vocals, and an unlikely assist from Atlanta trap king Gucci Mane. Best of all, the unexpected union totally works. —E.R.B.
Lorde, "Perfect Places"
For the closer from her upcoming second album Melodrama, due June 16, the New Zealand pop sensation turned to "Green Light" collaborators Jack Antonoff and Frank Dukes once again, as well as Miike Snow frontman Andrew Wyatt. The resulting cut is — you guessed it — another blast of anthemic arena-pop girded by vibrant synths and stomping percussion. —E.R.B.
Arcade Fire, "Everything Now"
The wait for new music from the Canadian indie-rockers has been long — outside of their January collaboration with Mavis Staples, they've stayed largely quiet since their absolutely bonkers 2013 double LP Reflektor. But they rewarded patient fans Thursday with the announcement of their fifth album, Everything Now, and the release of its slow-rolling title track. Queue this up and hit the road — this is highway music at its finest. —Madison Vain
Bleachers, "Gone Now"
In recent years, Jack Antonoff's name has been associated with superstar collaborators like Lorde and Taylor Swift — but Bleachers' second album, an anthemic collection built around the ideas of loss and moving forward, proves the musician's just as impressive as a frontman as he is behind the scenes. With songs that range from jazzy to full-on pop, the set is a cohesive but varied compilation of sounds tied together by Antonoff's dance-worthy brand of catharsis. —Ariana Bacle
Radiohead, "I Promise"
OKNOTOK, the forthcoming 20th-anniversary reissue of Radiohead's seminal OK Computer, will contain three previously unreleased tracks. Friday, the British alt-rockers shared one of them, "I Promise," and a music video to go along with it. The cut is peak '90s Radiohead, with a rat-a-tat, military-issue drum beat and solemnly strummed guitars that evoke "Fake Plastic Trees." —E.R.B.
Halsey, "hopeless fountain kingdom"
Since breaking big in 2015 with her lo-fi debut, Badlands, Halsey has sung on the Chainsmokers massive hit "Closer," duetted with Justin Bieber, and, along with playing massive festivals like Coachella, sold out Madison Square Garden. Now, she's returned with her arena-sized second LP. "Badlands was this kind of DIY record," she told EW last month. "Now I've toured the world and have dans that I want to make happy. The space I need to fill with my sound is not a bedroom anymore, it's an arena." —M.V.
Dan Auerbach, "Waiting on a Song"
In a recent interview with EW, the Black Keys frontman described his second solo effort as a "musical stew" of American genres including rock, country, blues, and soul. Auerbach invited ace session musicians such as John Prine, Duane Eddy, and Jerry Douglas to his Nashville studio to bring cuts like shuffling "Livin' in Sin" and slinky "Cherrybomb" to life. —E.R.B.
Major Lazer, "Know No Better"
Just in time for summer, Major Lazer have returned with a six-song EP packed with club-oriented, globally influenced jams. "Our goals are just to make great music," de facto frontman Diplo told EW earlier this week. "and these [songs] are all pretty weird." Dig in. —M.V.
Roger Waters, "Is This the Life We Really Want?"
For the Pink Floyd founder's first solo album in 25 years, he teamed with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. Originally conceived as a radio play, it's long on ballads, but there is the killer uptempo rocker, "Smell the Roses." It's also full of his characteristic doomsaying: "It's like truth is now a completely alien concept," Waters told EW in May. "Keep people dumb, uneducated, whatever, so you can go on milking them." —Kevin O'Donnell
Delicate and sinister, alt-J's third album is an exercise in extremes and experimentation. "Hit Me Like a Snare Drum" is straight from the '60s-era New York rock scene, while the menacing "In Cold Blood" could easily soundtrack the villain's entrance in a '90s video game. "They are eight very different songs and eight very different moods," the group's keyboardist and vocalist Gus Unger-Hamilton told EW. "It's quite a well-balanced meal — gives you all the food groups emotionally." The English band could have easily peaked in 2012 when they won the coveted Mercury Prize for their debut, An Awesome Wave; Relaxer is proof that's far from true. —A.B.
Liam Gallagher, "Wall of Glass"
The mercurial Oasis singer teamed with star producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia) for his swaggering solo single, off his upcoming full-length As You Were. "Wall of Glass" isn't Oasis, but with its wailing harmonica, angelic backing vocals, and propulsive guitar, it ably revives the iconic sound of the legendary Britpop group's early records. —E.R.B.
Prophets of Rage, "Unf— the World"
When Prophets of Rage — the supergroup comprised of Rage Against the Machine members, Public Enemy's Chuck D, and Cypress Hill's B-Real — debuted last year, they seemed to be a temporary novelty borne from the unrest wrought by America's controversial election season. But the election of Donald Trump appears to have spurred the radically progressive hard-rock group, and they're releasing their self-titled debut album in September. Over a quintessentially pummeling RATM beat, Chuck lays out their mission statement on "Unf— the World": "Give a damn, evil can't stand when the people take a stand." Michael Moore directed the cut's disturbing video, adding to its incendiary effect. —E.R.B.
Elton John & Jack White, "Two Fingers of Whiskey"
For The American Epic Sessions, Jack White and T Bone Burnett recreated Depression-era recording equipment and invited modern artists of all stripes to cut versions of classic tunes. They've already released songs by Nas and Alabama Shakes off the upcoming compilation and shared the White and Elton John collaboration "Two Fingers of Whiskey" on Thursday. John's honky-tonk piano and White's raw guitar highlight the song, composed by the former's longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. —E.R.B.
Amber Coffman, "City of No Reply"
The debut solo LP from the former Dirty Projectors singer-guitarist is a batch of 11 effervescent indie-pop songs. "No Coffee" and "Dark Night" feature irresistible, instantly memorable melodies, while cuts like "If You Want My Heart" incorporate some of the sonic weirdness that defined her previous band. "I wanted to do this since I was about five years old," Coffman told EW last month of the project, which features musicians like percussionist Mauro Refosco (Atoms for Peace, Red Hot Chili Peppers). "It was a really special experience." —E.R.B.
Dua Lipa, "Dua Lipa"
"I never want to seem weak in my songs," the 21-year-old told EW earlier this year. "The second I start writing a sad song, I always change it to make it seem like I was more empowered." That approach yielded her debut, which is the disco record of the summer and features proven hits like "Be the One" and "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)" along with fresh cuts like the strutting Miguel duet "Lost in Your Light." —K.O.
The War on Drugs, "Holding On"
Propelled by twinkling synths and shimmering guitars, the lead single from the Philly band's upcoming album A Deeper Understanding, out August 25, picks up where their 2014 smash Lost in the Dream left off: Windows-down-and-speeding-down-the-highway heartland rock bliss. —E.R.B.
PARTYNEXTDOOR, "COLOURS 2" EP
The four-song surprise EP from the OVO-affiliated crooner is a gorgeous, brief display of his chilly, after-hours R&B. —E.R.B.
Todd Terje, "Maskindans"
No word yet on when fans can expect the second album from the Norwegian disco-house artist, but Terje dropped a kinetic cover Det Gylne Triangel's 1982 song "Maskindans" Friday — featuring fresh vocals from Triangel. Nearly breaking 10 minutes, the unrelenting track is another essential dancefloor odyssey from Terje. —E.R.B.
Various Artists, "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)"
The soundtrack for the Captain Underpants film adaptation is as outrageous and silly as the movie it accompanies. There are original compositions from Lil Yachty, Adam Lambert, and, of course, "Weird Al" Yankovic's absurd theme song for the tidy whitey crimefighter. —E.R.B.
Benjamin Booker, "Witness"
The 27-year-old Booker sounds something like Otis Redding covering Ty Segall in an abandoned warehouse. His second album is also his best, from the Arcs-esque lilt of "Overtime" to the gospel-tinged title track. —E.R.B.
Broken Social Scene, "Skyline"
Broken Social Scene are no strangers to lyrical repetition — 2003's "Anthems for a 17-Year-Old Girl," one of the Canadian collective's best-known tracks, is almost entirely made of the hypnotizing chant, "Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me" — so it's no surprise their latest song, the folksy "Skyline," is just one repeating verse. It's also unsurprising that its four minutes don't redundant or tired, but soaring, rousing, and perfect for sunsets. —A.B.
Luke Combs, "This One's For You"
The country breakout found chart success this year with his moody rocker "Hurricane" — and now he's dropped a whole collection of scorchers. His debut LP scans the modern country landscape, blending nostalgic heartland rock ("Memories Are Made Of"), cornfield-sized party jams ("Beer Can"), honky-tonk delights ("Honky Tonk Highway"), and bleeding-heart guitar ballads ("One Number Away"). —M.V.
U2, "The Joshua Tree" (Super Deluxe Reissue)
Not lucky enough to catch U2 on their special summer tour commemorating the 25th anniversary of their seminal album The Joshua Tree? Never fear: The Irish rockers have goodies for you, too. This sprawling reissue collects the original album, B-sides from the era, fresh remixes, and a 1987 live set from Madison Square Garden for the definitive document of perhaps the band's greatest period. —E.R.B.
Bob Marley & The Wailers, "Exodus 40"
The album that TIME named the best of the 20th century celebrates its 40th anniversary tomorrow, and this three-disc reissue marks the occasion. There's the classic LP, but also a reworked, resequenced version by Marley's son Ziggy — featuring unearthed vocals and instrumental passages from the sessions — and a sizzling 1977 Marley concert recorded at London's Rainbow Theatre. —E.R.B.